Are you any good at “Spot the Difference” activities? Take a moment to read through the following passages.
1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.Isaiah 9:1-2, ESV
2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:Matthew 4:12-16, ESV
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”
These similar verses, one set referencing the other, are separated by about 700 years. In an act of continuity spanning centuries, Jesus does exactly what God said through the prophet Isaiah .
So, are you ready for a little bit of homework? Read through Isaiah 9:1-7 and Matthew 4 and make a note of what you find. What other references and similarities do you see? If I had to guess, you will likely find more evidence of a God who has always had a plan. Prophecy. Prophecy fulfilled. Jesus was and is the answer. Today, I encourage you to dive into God’s word and see for yourself.